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Absolute Beginner
Last updated at 11:53 pm UTC on 1 June 2000


This is a transcript of an AOL Instant Messaging Session between me, Jerry Archibald and my sister, Robin Joi Green. She lives in Florida and I live in New York, and we connected through AOL on a pleasant afternoon. I have included it here without additional editing to preserve 'authenticity.' I simply looked at the HTML source for the AOL E-Mail I sent to Robin after the session, copied the entire source, and pasted it the Session section following.

Robin has had a personal computer (Windows'98 e-Machine) for just under 1 year, and although she has taken to it (and the Internet) like a duck to a pond, she has never programmed anything, and has never used any Client/Server system that was not Amazon.com or eBay. She has never written a line of HTML.

I solicit any constructive comments (I'll find someplace to put them with appropriate cross-references); please send E-mail to me, Jerry Archibald. I will lock this page (intention: preserve authenticity).


Subj: IM Transcript
Date: 5/31/00 4:16:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: JArchibald
To: MyOwnRobin
CC: JArchibald

MyOwnRobin: Hello there, fancy meeting you here...You never called last night. Everything okay?
MyOwnRobin: If your busy, we can catch up later..
JArchibald: Hi sweetheart. Sorry about last night; I conked out before 8 o'clock; started today after 2 am. Just woke up from a nap.
MyOwnRobin: Thats alright I have been kind of down in the shoulders and neck lately so have not been real up as of late.
JArchibald: I thought the chiropractor fixed you up. Not so?
MyOwnRobin: I was to the chiropractor this am.
JArchibald: OIC. How do you feel now?
MyOwnRobin: Well its kind of on-going. Am better but still very tense in the shoulders, no headache tho and thats good
JArchibald: Sounds good.
MyOwnRobin: He recommends some physical theraphy and massage. the insurance will cover the p/t but not the massage.
JArchibald: You can get treatments from good masseuses (I really don't know how to spell) for about $1 an hour.
MyOwnRobin: And that is what I thing I would benefit from the most with the muscles with my job and all.
$1.00? and hour or 10.00?
JArchibald: $1.00/minute. Sorry about that. You can often arrange for like a 15 minute appt.
MyOwnRobin: Well I see the squirrels outside have figured out to tip the bird feeder to get the seed to the ground out back.
JArchibald: The squirrels in this neck of the woods are amazingly resourceful when it comes to bird feeders.
MyOwnRobin: When I go back this weekend, I may ask what their rates are.
JArchibald: Give them a call.
JArchibald: BTW, have you had any substantial AOL clashes logging on?
MyOwnRobin: Nope, but I haven't been on much as of late..
JArchibald: I don't usually keep a BuddyList window open, but when I have, I've only rarely seen ArchieOnly or SeedyChris on, and even then, they seem to get off quickly (unlike me).
MyOwnRobin: Only encountered that Arch was signed on once I think. I quess we're on different timetables. Do have somthing going on in the color aspects through background sign in etc
JArchibald: I have discover Internet radio, and occasionally have a station playing. I once left it on for some 33 hours, because I had the volume turned off. AOL sees Internet traffic, and assumes that you're doing something. :-)
JArchibald: ?? background sign in ?? Is this the Automatic AOL?
MyOwnRobin: Sometimes that is all I do is check mail and answer then get off. Having been in the surfing mode in awhile.
MyOwnRobin: No, I think its in the control panel. My online screens are fine.
JArchibald: I've got in the habit of staying on while I'm working. Keeps me in touch with the Squeak mailing list all day (or usually, all night).
JArchibald: What is the screen problem?
MyOwnRobin: Whats the 'Squeak mailing list'?
MyOwnRobin: Colors in background and on bonzi-buddy bird kind-of go from positive to negative but then may staighten out or not.
JArchibald: Squeak is the open source research project that I work with. See http://squeak.org
JArchibald: When do the colors shift? Like when you're doing certain things?
MyOwnRobin: usually when doing something with going online or bring start menus back and forth
JArchibald: Does it end up correct when you exit those things?
MyOwnRobin: Yes, its kind of in the between stages that it flashes the background that way.
JArchibald: Sounds like you're okay. Lot's of programs are not very well behaved and should have had a professional look at them before they met the real world.
JArchibald: Did you check out Squeak.org?
MyOwnRobin: No didn't realize I was to do it right away...BRB
JArchibald: They've got the neatest icon (the mouse). The effort is staffed (the ones who get paid) by a group of people now at Disney. The effort started at Apple in 1996, but represents a continuation of work that's been going on since 1972. I've been involved with it for most of that time.
JArchibald: BRB? Be right back?
JArchibald: I've been working on Smalltalk pretty much continuously since 1981.
MyOwnRobin: whats good to check out there for a quick parusal for the novice?
JArchibald: Well, the neatest thing to look at is the Swiki. It's not Squeak but it's written in Squeak. I can walk you through. Interested?
MyOwnRobin: Perhaps but I don't know about right now with these shoulders. I kind of feel like my chaise in the shaded backyard is calling me...
JArchibald: Well, when you want to, remind me. I would get a kick out of it.
MyOwnRobin: The breeze we've been having yesterday and today has been really nice. That would be really cool.
JArchibald: Got 5 minutes?
MyOwnRobin: sure
JArchibald: Okay. Go to http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/Squeak
JArchibald: I'm going to do this in parallel with you.
JArchibald: Are you there (minnow ... etc.)?
MyOwnRobin: which location?
JArchibald: http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/Squeak
MyOwnRobin: yeah I'm at that location with /link on the end
JArchibald: I don't know how you got the '/link' Retype it.
JArchibald: When you get there, scroll down to 'The Squeak Community'
MyOwnRobin: I highlighted yours and pasted it.
MyOwnRobin: got it
JArchibald: Right (re pasting).
JArchibald: When you get to Squeak Community, hit link for 'Who's Who'
MyOwnRobin: okay there
JArchibald: That list is everyone who's involved in Squeak (some just visitors).
JArchibald: Scroll down to me (they're alphabetical on first name).
MyOwnRobin: I see you there
JArchibald: Hit link to Jerry Archibald
JArchibald: When you get there, read all about me. :-) Then hit the edit button at the top.
MyOwnRobin: Yeah then it shows in text form
JArchibald: The edit button will take you to an edit view of my page. Add a sentence somewhere; just anything. Then hit the Save button below the edit window.
JArchibald: Tell me when you've gotten that far.
JArchibald: Boy! I was just able to crack me neck a good one. Felt great!
JArchibald: my neck
JArchibald: Must pee. BRB.
MyOwnRobin: done, heah the chiropractor told me not to be forcing your neck crack like with your hands
JArchibald: Got it. So this page has been changed in the Swiki. And everyone contacting it see the latest changes.
JArchibald: sees
JArchibald: "I'm Robin's brother and she loves me even if I am crazy" Eccentric is not crazy.
JArchibald: Okay, I'm going to make a change. Wait a second.
MyOwnRobin: alright

MyOwnRobin: would you like me to put in eccentic instead
JArchibald: Now (still on the same page) go up to the AOL Refresh button (just left of the Home button) and refresh the page.
JArchibald: This time hit one of the 'jla' buttons.
MyOwnRobin: You can take my craziness out...
JArchibald: Just do what I tell you. This could get confusing.
JArchibald: if you start experimenting too soon.
MyOwnRobin: i am jla your int got it
JArchibald: Now go back (AOL button to far left of Home button)
MyOwnRobin: yes
MyOwnRobin: original page
JArchibald: Now refresh that page. I changed it again.
JArchibald: Then hit the 'create' reference after your name.
MyOwnRobin: i'm there
JArchibald: Write something on your page. Then save.
MyOwnRobin: done
JArchibald: Your are page 1473. I.e., http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/Squeak.1473
JArchibald: Go to that URL (http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/Squeak.1473). Then add the comments you just told me.
JArchibald: Your text is 'Well this is fine except I go by Robin Joi Green now....Robin Archibald Green would have made my initials RAG...LOL can't you see why??? RJG'

JArchibald: That you told me in the Swiki.
JArchibald: You could be a RAG doll.
MyOwnRobin: yes and so
JArchibald: After you've changed it, go back until you get to my page.
JArchibald: Tell me when you're there.
JArchibald: When you're back on my page, hit edit link again.
MyOwnRobin: at edit link
JArchibald: See how I created your page. I just inserted *Robin Archibald*. Add one for *Robin Green*.
JArchibald: Then save
MyOwnRobin: not following what you mean or want me to do?
JArchibald: Are you on the edit page for Jerry Archibald?
MyOwnRobin: yes...
JArchibald: If you are, just put in the string ' *Robin Green* ' somewhere.
JArchibald: Then save.
MyOwnRobin: done
JArchibald: Then hit 'create' link next to the Robin Green link and add text for new page. Include *Robin Archibald* in that added text.
MyOwnRobin: where's create and already liked with name
MyOwnRobin: linked
JArchibald: Then save
JArchibald: Oh, they've changed something.
JArchibald: You didn't use to be able to change the name of a page.
MyOwnRobin: I think its already done..go to http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/1473
JArchibald: You're right.
JArchibald: So edit it again, and add *Lee Archibald* somewhere in the text of my page.
MyOwnRobin: nana na nana..na
JArchibald: Then hit the create thingy.
JArchibald: Should I be glad I didn't have to grow up with you? Re (nana na nana..na)
MyOwnRobin: honey not to be a drag but my shoulders aren't up for alot of computer play today, Yeah so there or I'm telling mom..LOL
JArchibald: Well, I guess that's enough for one day. What do you think about Swiki?
JArchibald: No, you need to add a new one. (definitely enough for one day)
MyOwnRobin: I have nature calling me in the back yard and I would like to visit it. Isn't just pretty much like being able to change any file.. Now couldn't just anyone go in and change stuff in passing through your file.
JArchibald: Okay, looks like you fixed it.
JArchibald: Yes, that's the whole idea. Anyone can change anything in the Swiki.
JArchibald: They do have a history of each page, so the page can be rolled back.
MyOwnRobin: Will you be online later?
JArchibald: They also allow pass-words for pages, so you can lock specific pages.
MyOwnRobin: that's cool
JArchibald: On-line later? Probably. Check buddy list or give me a call.
MyOwnRobin: okey dokey...love you, later Robin
JArchibald: I just changed your page.
JArchibald: CUL8R
MyOwnRobin: okay
JArchibald: I copy this to E-mail so you can read later.
MyOwnRobin: sure..love R

Jerry L. Archibald